We all know that saying right? The only thing to fear is fear itself? I hate that fucking saying.
The last time we were away oversease was 2009. 2009 was a great year – and in 2009 I didn’t know the name of my illness. There were a few moments where I have massive Crohn’s failures, but you always put it down to something you ate or the fact you shouldn’t have had the 6th bourbon.
I have a lot of scary stuff going on in my life… but the only thing that is really worrying me is being able to get on that plane to Christchurch. I already have a fear of flying – my Crohn’s seems to exacerbated that. I used to be afraid to get on the plane and to be in the air… now my greatest fear is that I will get sick that morning and not be able to board the flight at all. There is one event in my recent past which is making that fear all the more real. Last year, only months after I found out what I was sick with, I had a bowel obstruction the night before we were due to leave for Kingaroy so I could bowl Association Challenge. It destroyed me. Ever since I have been trying to put the event out of my head. I let 5 other people down that day and it was an indication of what little control over my life I had… The stupid thing is… this could have happened before, when I didn’t know what it was and it wouldn’t have these implications….
I think… more than just the thought of not being able to get on a plane, its more the feeling of no longer being in control of my future or my body. Its the reality that Crohn’s now has a say in whatever I do. Things like long hauls scare me in a whole different light now… hell even going to someones house for lunch or dinner scares me now….
Stocker and I are talking a lot about how scared sitting on a plane for 3 hours or a bus (with no toilet) for 45 minutes makes me. He keeps saying that I have done it hundreds of times before I knew and while thats true… it only make me realise how lucky I am… I was speaking to someone else with Crohn’s the other day and they said that you can’t let it stop you doing things you love, and it wont. But encouraging words aren’t making the fear any less paralyzing.
I want to get a bit of my old life back… where we could go out to dinner, out to parties… just out without having to identify where all the nearest toilets are. Its a strange way to live life and I am the first to admit that.
Speaking of fears, I have been looking into one of the possible causes of auto-immune disorders – the hygiene hypothesis. The causes of many auto-immune diseases are still a mystery – there are a lot of different theories. One factor is the rate of auto-immune disease within the community. There has been a big increase in allergies, asthma and many of the other illnesses people don’t connect with the body attacking itself. The Hygiene Hypothesis is the theory that we have become too clean. Yes thats right, to much scrubbing and washing and anti-bacterial. The theory (in laypersons terms) goes something a little like this: as humans we have gotten too good at preventing common illness (colds etc) and germs… our body is wired to fight foreign matter… since we have gotten so clean our immune systems have nothing to do so they start going haywire and attacking ordinary things which are, in most cases, meant to be there… If you are allergic to nuts, thats basically your body attacking nuts the you eat… because its got nothing else to do… I guess it stands to reason. These uber immune systems could be passed on… The research I have read all sounds plausible – but I mean… who knows? It was interesting reading how a lot of common ailments are actually in the auto-immune category. When you first tell someone you have a psudo auto-immune disease, they freak out. I think the terminology “auto-immune” is scary. The thing most of these people don’t understand is the percentage of people in the world that have an auto-immune condition is huge. When you count things like allergies and asthma, rather than just the biggies like Loopus, Crohn’s, Colitis etc etc… it amounts to a VERY large number. While I have always been a firm believer in hand washing and basic hygiene, I have never really invested in the antibacterial movement… and I have never really avoided getting dirty… I suppose, growing up on the property I grew up on I was either up a tree, knee deep in mud or sharing my lunch with one of our menagerie. The Hygiene Hypothesis was never really an option for me because I have the genetic fault… but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense. There are lots of theories – that’s just one… just because it makes sense, doesn’t mean its the only possible cause for the exponential rise in auto-immune type disorders….
Well I have a book cover to make so I best stop procrastinating and put the studies and the medical dictionary away…. seriously, it takes so much longer to read these things when you have to look up every 4th word….